How to Choose the Best Backpack for Your Trip February 17, 2021 – Posted in: Tips, Travel – Tags: ,

Picking the right travel backpack is an important part in planning your next adventure. There’s plenty to consider when making your next purchase.  Material, size, storage, versatility, durability and comfort just to name a few.

Discover how to choose the best backpack for your trip with our Bags Only blog!


If you’ve made the decision to travel without wheels, comfort should always be the number one priority on your checklist. Everyone’s needs and body types are unique, so it’s important to find the backpack that is most comfortable for you.

It’s generally accepted that backpacks should be worn high on the back, with the bottom of the backpack at or above the waist. If you’re going to carry a lot of weight on a regular basis (e.g travelling from Country to Country), padded hip belts, padded shoulder straps, padded back and waist, or hip belt can make a big difference in relieving the stress on your back.

Tip: Try each backpack on and ask the staff to fill the backpack so you can get a better idea of what it will like carrying on your back!


Second most important is size. Travel backpacks come in a variety of sizes, small, medium, large or one size fits all (unisex). A large backpack is not necessarily better than medium, what is important is that your backpack is proportional to the size of your body.

Opt for a backpack that is big enough to hold a fraction more than what you are intending to pack. If a backpack fits everything you need, has room for additional items and feels comfortable to carry, then you have the perfect size backpack!

Tip: Don’t forget baggage fees. Will baggage fees from major or budget airlines be incurred when checking in your backpack? The more your bag weighs, the more you may have to pay to check it. Considerations to keep in mind when choosing the best backpack for your trip.

Characteristics and Features

Characteristics and features you should look when purchasing your next travel bag include:

Water resistant material

It’s important that your backpack is made out of a semi-waterproof material.  Getting court in a severe downpour or rainstorm might not happen to often, but when it does, you don’t want to open your backpack and find wet clothes. Nylon, Rip-Stop Nylon, Cordura and polyester are materials used for making water-resistant bags.

Multiple compartments

A good backpack must to have multiple compartments. Breaking up your belongings into smaller sections is so important.  It allows you to access and find the stuff you need when you need it.

Tip: A front loading backpack (zip open the face from the side) provides easy access to your gear compared to a top loading backpack.

Lockable Zippers

Some travellers like locking up their bags when travelling.  If you fall into this category, ensure each compartment has two zippers so you can lock them together. When purchasing locks, make sure they are TSA-friendly locks — these locks have a special release valve that allows the TSA to open the lock without breaking it so they can check your bag.

Lightweight and durable

Every traveller wants a lightweight and durable backpack.  Make sure you buy a backpack with an internal frame. Modern backpacks feature internal-frames where the support rods and frame are built into the backpack and hidden from view.  This design feature looks better and tends to be lighter, making them easier to carry as well as more durable.


We talked about comfort being the number one item when choosing your backpack. Padded shoulder straps, padded waist belts and a contoured/padded back will make carrying you load more comfortable.

Make sure the padding is very thick and made up of a single piece of material as it will be less likely to split.

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